Marisa Murillo

Hey, y’all! I’m Marisa Murillo, a first year mechanical engineering student at Columbia University. If all goes according to plan, I’ll also take on a minor in astrophysics. Originally, I’m from Houston, Texas. Growing up in Space City, USA definitely helped shape my interest in all things space, and I’m excited to continue pursuing this interest here in New York.


One of my first ventures into astrophotography was capturing the Mercury Solar Transit of May 2016. I borrowed my high school astronomy teacher’s Meade Coronado to catch my shot of this event. The day was cloudy, but an opportune break in the sky came through long enough for me to adjust my settings and get a clear image.


Later, I entered Meade’s “Soak Up The Sun” solar astrophotography contest and won an 80mm Meade Polaris, my first telescope. Although Houston is an unfavorable observation destination (light pollution, humidity, low altitude, etc.), I’ve been able to enjoy what I’ve seen through my telescope.


My first successful observation with this instrument was the Supermoon of November 2016. After much adjustment of position and magnification, I was amazed by the clarity in which I could see the lunar surface.


While I do enjoy casual observation, nothing excites me quite like an astronomical event. I researched extensively to prepare for the Total Solar Eclipse of August 2017: everything from safety to photography techniques. I constructed and tested solar filters for my cameras and telescope, and I relied on Meade Eclipse Viewers to check on the progression of the Eclipse. Experiencing totality for the first time was unlike anything else. In that brief moment, Earth felt alien, as though I were transported to one of the distant worlds at which I’ve marveled from behind the lens of a telescope.


I’m beyond excited to be a Meade Brand Ambassador and join this community of creative, innovative, and curious individuals. To experience this progress in astronomical observation with Meade and to share this journey with a broader community is a dream come true for me.